Indian stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma, on Wednesday, made the day of his fans by smashing double One Day International ton and led his team from front to win the second ODI of the three-match series and level the series against Sri Lanka in Mohali.
It was his third double hundred in ODIs at the Mohali stadium and the seventh hundreds this year (six in ODIs and one in Tests) after making a successful return to international cricket from a thigh surgery last November 2016. Now, the right-hander has 6417 ODI runs at the batting average of 45.51.
Speaking at the post-match conference in Mohali, Rohit Sharma told reporters that the year of 2017 has been the best year for him of his decade-old international career.
As per PTI, the 30-year-old said, “I would say this year has been the best year for me as a cricketer. I have been hitting the ball well. I keep telling myself that if an opportunity arises, I have to be ready for it. What has happened in the past, I have no regrets. The future is bright. The last five-six months that has been the mindset. I wanted to be ready for Test matches. I knew the combination which we play, five bowlers sometimes and sometimes four, I may play or may not. I just have to prepare myself in a way that I am playing every game be at my best.”
The ongoing three-match ODI series is his first series as full-time captain, and Rohit said he is only thinking about the series and live in the present so he has not yet shifted his focus on the South Africa tour.
He further added, “I am someone who doesn't look too far ahead so I won't be talking about what we have to do in South Africa. I have been appointed the captain for the first time, so I am only thinking about this series.”
On being asked to compare his first double hundred against Australia at Bangalore in 2013 and the second against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens in 2014 with Mohali ODI ton, Rohit said, “I can't rate this because the other two were as important as this one. The first one against Australia was the series decider and second one against Sri Lanka, I was coming back from injury. It (264 against SL) was a world record score and that has to be right up there. This one as well, we had to come back in the series, it was my first captaincy stint, also as a batsman I wanted to do well. I don't think I can rate them as all three were very important from the team's perspective.”
Commenting on his Mohali knock, the right-hander said, “The first 100 took time but the next was one a lot faster. That is because you are set, you can see the ball nice and hard, you know what the bowlers are trying to do so you are just trying to play with the field. Once you get past 100 it is all about you not making mistake and getting out. It is very unlikely that bowlers are going to get you out post 100. I just wanted to bat and bat. The thinking was why not get another 100 after the 100.”
He concluded by saying, “Nothing is easy in cricket. Trust me when you are in the middle you have to use your brains, you have to time the ball. It is not easy. You must have seen I was trying to play with the field, trying to play the scoop shot, trying to hit over point. Those are my strengths. That is the advantage of having five players inside. The shot selection becomes very important.”